Healthy Eating in Ramadan

In about three weeks, our Muslim brothers and sisters will be celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. With the restriction on public food consumption, everyone in the city local and expat must take it as an ideal time for reflection and a great opportunity to create a healthier lifestyle. It is a wonderful chance to absorb the spirit of fasting, become more aware of your consumption and eating habits.

Imperial College London Diabetic Center’s Nutrition Education Manager Rahma Al Ketbi, suggests to keep Ramadan diet simple and similar to a normal daily diet. Ideally the fasting diet should contain foods from all the major food groups including:

  • Bread, cereals or rice
  • Meat, chicken, fish or beans
  • Milk, laban or yogurt
  • Fruits and vegetables

Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast, just after sunset after the long hours of fasting. However, it is important to keep it as a meal and not a feast!

Suggested Iftar meal:

  • Three dates
  • Light vegetable soup
  • A glass of laban (drinking yogurt)
  • Mixed greens salad
  • Basmati rice with either of these, grilled chicken, fish, harees or thareed, but not all four!

Always have a dessert in the Iftar menu because it can help you regain the glucose in your body and keep you on-the-go.

Suhoor is the meal that takes place just before day break, when fasting begins again. It completes Iftar, and provides the body with energy and nutrients to fast for the day.

Just like Iftar, Suhoor needs to be a healthy, moderate meal, filling and filled with slow energy releasing carbohydrates which sustain body through-out the day. Slow-energy releasing or low-glycaemic index foods include grains and seeds, like barley, wheat, oats, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, and basmati rice.

Suggested Suhoor meal:

  • A glass of milk, laban or yogurt
  • A slice of wholegrain bread
  • Foul or eggs or tuna
  • Mixed salad
  • A piece of fruit such as apple, pear or an orange
  • Plenty of water

Ramadan Mubarak to all!

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